Demetaphorization as explicitating shifts in translation

‘demetaphorization’ is generally associated with congruent unpacking of grammatical metaphors (cf. Halliday, 1985; Halliday and Matthiessen, 1999, 2004)


see p. 164 in:


Fattah, Ashraf

[Thesis]. Manchester, UK: The University of Manchester; 2010.

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This study investigates clause complexing and conjunctive explicitation in a speciallycompiled corpus consisting of two sets of Arabic translations and comparable non-translatedArabic texts both produced by the same translators/authors in the domainsof history and philosophy. Focusing on certain types of conjunctive markers, thisstudy seeks to find lexico-grammatical evidence of one of the translation-specificfeatures, i.e. features typical of translated language, in these selected target texts,using both parallel and comparable corpora.Adopting a Systemic Functional approach for analyzing logico-semantic relationsbetween clauses, clause complexes and sequences in Arabic, the study examinessome causal and concessive conjunctions and conjunctive Adjuncts in Arabictranslated and non-translated texts, and contrasts these with their English counterpartswith a view to identifying recurrent patterns or trends of ‘explicitation’, one of thefeatures that are arguably typical of translated texts.Baker (1996) suggests a number of translation-specific features, which manifestthemselves in translated texts on lexical and syntactic levels, and seem to be typicalof translated language in general. Evidence of one such posited feature, namelyexplicitation, is sought in the selected translators’ handling of structural and textualconjunctive expressions in the English source texts. Thus, the primary aim of thepresent study is twofold: to examine from a systemic functional perspectivedifferences in the patterns of instantiation of clause complexing and conjunctiverelations in English source texts, their Arabic translations and Arabic non-translationsauthored by the same translators; and to investigate whether, and to what extent, thesedifferences are attributable to explicitation as a translation-specific feature.The originality of this study stems first from its focus on Arabic, thus addressing aconspicuous gap in corpus-based research on translation-specific features, which hasso far been largely confined to Indo-European languages. Secondly, being theorydriven,and specifically embedded in a systemic functional framework, the conceptionof explicitation adopted in this study constitutes a departure from the taxonomicapproach characteristic of a large body of literature on explicitation, which is neitherinformed nor motivated by a coherent theoretical framework, with the result that itoften engenders a flat model of description and classification, with vague overlappingcategories. Confirming the findings of earlier studies on explicitation, this study hasrevealed a tendency of explicitation features to cluster in various metafunctionalenvironments, with the overall effect of reducing vagueness or complexity, avoidingambiguity, and enhancing comprehensibility through enhanced conjunctivecohesiveness, reinforcement, expanded simplification or unpacking of complexconstructions.


Arabic Translation Explicitation Conjunction Clause Complexing Systemic Functional Linguistics Corpus


explicitating shifts are generally considered one of the universals of translation in the field